Priming and lexical interference in infancy
Styles, Suzy J.
Date of Issue2008
Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (30th : 2008 : Washington DC, USA)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Three experiments investigate priming effects in a looking task for infants in their second year. Infants hear two words (prime, target) in quick succession (separated by 200ms), and are presented with a picture pair (target, distracter) for 2500ms of free looking. Prime-target pairs are semantically and associatively related half of the time. Eye-movements are monitored. Infants aged 18- (Experiments 1, 2 and 3), 21- (Experiment 3) and 24- (Experiments 1 & 2) months were tested (N=328). 18-month-olds show consistent interest in named targets, but no priming effects. Experiment 1 demonstrates priming for 24-month-olds. Experiments 2 and 3 attempt to clarify whether this priming is fundamentally lexical (word-word) or visually mediated (word-picture), by varying the cue validity of the target as well as the prime. In Experiment 3, phonological competition produces a pattern of lexical interference and primed facilitation in 21-month-olds. This result supports a model of lexicon connectivity during the early stages of linguistic development.
© 2008 by the Cognitive Science Society, Inc. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (30th:2008:Washington DC, USA), Cognitive Science Society. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://csjarchive.cogsci.rpi.edu/proceedings/2008/pdfs/p651.pdf].